Stress among medical Saudi students at College of Medicine, King Faisal University

A G Abdel Rahman, B N Al Hashim, N K Al Hiji, Z Al-Abbad
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene 2013, 54 (4): 195-9

BACKGROUND: Sources of student stress can be academic pressures, social or personal issues and medical students have to face the challenge of rigorous curriculum and also have to learn how to deal with emotionally difficult experiences.

AIM OF WORK: Determination of the prevalence of stress and to identify the risk factors of stress among Saudi medical students at Faculty of Medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia.

METHODS: A survey study design was conducted among medical students at Faculty of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al Ahsaa Governorate, Eastern Province from February-May, 2013. Both male and female students were invited to participate in our study. The total number of students was 650 Saudi medical students, out of them 244 medical students were participated in the current study. All participants were provided a self administered questionnaire. A likert scale with 3 points for responses was used. Questionnaires were given to participants 2 month before end-semester examinations, to minimize the extra stress symptoms A score of stress was calculated.

RESULTS: Prevalence of stress was 53% among Saudi students. Gender has no role in stress among medical students (p > 0.05). Logistic regression analysis revealed the most important risk factors of stress, having places for recreation at the University showed a relationship with stress among medical students with a p value = 0.000, there is a statistically significant relationship between stress and having optimal place for studying outside the university p = 0.001, while, comparing number of sleeping hours with stress, we could not find a statistically significant relationship among medical students, p = 0.744. Medical students who had close friends to share with them their stresses and concerns showed a highly statistically significant relationship between stressed and unstressed students p = 0.001.

CONCLUSION: Medical students reported high levels of stress. The most frequently occurring stressors among the students were related to academic and psychosocial domains. The associations between stressed cases and gender, occurrence of academic and psychosocial stressors need to be further tested by prospective studies.

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